Given that both Whyte & MacKay
have brought out ‘light’ versions of their whisky
is Drombeg the 1st Irish version of this lower ABV trend?
Well the whole presentation is a bit of a performance!
Red cloth wrapped around a clay pot!
At 52% – this baijiu is a bit of a performance too.
‘Strong Aroma’ it says on the box – & it does exactly as stated – in a very pleasing way.
An enticing savoury, meaty umami type of thing going on.
The high ABV pack a punch – but doesn’t over power.
The EU/China trade agreement has opened the door for Irish Whiskey exports to China – as well as Baijiu imports to Ireland.
I’m certainly enjoying exploring the fruits of that deal!
I purchased my Baijiu from Asia Market, Dublin.
The iconic ‘Striding Man’ logo gracing bottles of Johnnie Walker Whisky is an apt inspiration for the title of this very highly researched & entertaining book by Nicholas Morgan.
Boldly striding across the centuries Johnnie Walker has witnessed many ups & downs as well as twists & turns within the whisky industry.
Originating in 1820 from a Kilmarnock grocers shop specializing in blending tea, Johnnie Walker went on to take full advantage of the Coffey Still to blend whisky.
By 1878 the business was expanding massively to cater for demand while both the Highland Malt & the big 4 Dublin Whisky Distilleries mounted a campaign to prevent ‘silent spirit’ being labelled as whisky.
By 1890 Scotch was outselling Irish – up until then the biggest & most reputable whisky sold worldwide – and has done so ever since.
The book chronicles that period of growth for Scotch – blended whisky in particular – as well as many other escapades the Striding Man encountered along the way
A Long Stride is a wonderful read for anyone wishing to grasp the historical complexities & choices made by previous generations that currently shape the whisky industry today.
It certainly makes me ponder how decisions being made now – often echoing those of the past – will shape the future.
Whatever tomorrow brings the Striding Man – & latterly Striding Woman – will certainly be found playing a key role.
Bacardí Ocho is one of those rums whiskey drinkers can easily appreciate.
A dark sweetness of butterscotch & toffee on the nose.
Soft & smooth palate replete with heavy fruits & a touch of nuttiness.
Growing woody spiciness from 8 years in oak barrels add some flair to the long finish.
An easy going sipper of a rum found widely in stores around Ireland.
‘Hand crafted in small batches‘ it says on the bottle.
Clear colourless unaged cachaca from Brazil.
Quite a pronounced sugarcane grassiness on the nose.
Easy & oily mouthfeel.
Slowly warms the palate with a certain juiciness coming through.
Hints of peppery spice on the finish with a tasty tingling sensation rounding off this attractive spirit.
Available in Ireland from the Intrepid Spirits range.
I thought Liberté was a yoghurt brand with TV adverts from a few years ago?
Yet here in my local Lidl was a simple & sparsely labelled bottle of white rum bearing the same name.
Liberté is a nod to the French connection that still exists on the tiny island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean.
A clear colourless rum with distinctively fat oily legs.
A very soft mild & mellow nose didn’t give much away – but there was a suggestion of overripe fruits glimpsing through.
Extremely easy on the palate – slightly oily mouthfeel with a gently warming heat.
Letting it linger gradually opens up those funky fruit flavours – not overpowering – just pleasantly attractive – followed by a touch of tingling spice adding some flair to this endearing rum.
The 300 year history of rum distilling on Réunion is quietly imprinted on this charmingly beguiling Liberté White Rum.
It floats my boat!
This delightfully enjoyable blend almost passed me by.
Released under John Teeling’s tenure at Kilbeggan Distillery – it now seems to have slipped from the current line up of new owners Beam/Suntory.
For the greater part of it’s history the distillery at Kilbeggan went by various names. Originally called Brusna Distillery in 1757 – after the river the waterwheel still turns from to this day – then Locke’s Distillery – after the Locke family who effectively ran the operation from 1843 until closure in 1958.
The distillery licence never expired during the following years. In turn this was acquired by John Teeling’s Cooley Distillery which opened in 1987 and resurrected the Locke’s brand – along with a few others.
Locke’s Distillery only ever produced pot still whiskey – which is perhaps one of many reasons for it’s demise – so ironically this miniature is a blended whiskey – using both grain & malt whiskeys combined together.
The Irish Whiskey Industry were rather late in embracing blended whiskey – over 130 years later than their Scottish counterparts – which also partly explains it’s collapse by the 1960’s.
So in it’s own way – Locke’s Blended Irish Whiskey was part of the revival. I’m glad to have stumbled on this miniature at The Old Stand in Mullingar.
The colour is light straw – but added caramel cannot be ruled out for this entry level blend.
A lovely soft malt greeted me on nosing. Sweet with just a little hint of turf.
The palate was soft, sweet & very smooth. Eminently approachable. Yet there is a slight suggestion of peat at the end to give it a bit of bite & character.
A decent afterglow wrapped up this extremely enjoyable drinking experience.
Well worth getting hold of if you come across a bottle.
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